Graham Nash pays tribute to David Crosby, dead at 81

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Graham Nash and Stephen Stills are among those who have paid tribute to David Crosby, who has died aged 81.

Jan Dance, Crosby’s wife, confirmed the news in a statement given to Variety, writing: “It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away.

“He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us. His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music.”

She continued: “Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly. At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.”

David Crosby
David Crosby in 2011. Image: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Sharing a black and white photo on Instagram of he and Crosby’s guitar cases next to one another, Nash wrote that it was with “a deep and profound sadness” that he learned about Crosby’s death.

“I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years,” he continued.

David was fearless in life and in music. He leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world. He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world.”

Graham Nash and David Crosby performing together in 2000
Graham Nash and David Crosby performing together in 2000. Image: Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Meanwhile, Stills wrote, “He was without question a giant of a musician, and his harmonic sensibilities were nothing short of genius. The glue that held us together [in CSN and CSNY] as our vocals soared, like Icarus, towards the sun. I am deeply saddened at his passing and shall miss him beyond measure.”

From Stephen:
“I read a quote in this morning’s paper attributed to composer Gustav Mahler that stopped me for a moment:
‘Death has, on placid cat’s paws, entered the room.’
I shoulda known something was up. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/eikZ47Kmso

— Stephen Stills Official (@Stephen__Stills) January 20, 2023

Crosby co-founded The Byrds alongside Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke in 1964, after performing on the acoustic coffeehouse circuit and in other bands, including Les Baxter’s Balladeers.

He was critical to their creative evolution from Beatles-inspired folkies to electric 12-string revolutionaries taking trad arr to a new dimension, bringing John Coltrane into psychedelic pop and beyond. His work with them culminated in 1967’s Younger Than Yesterday. He also appeared on their fifth record, The Notorious Byrd Brothers, before he was fired from the band in 1967.

Crosby later produced their 1973 reunion album, Byrds.

IN 1967, Crosby discovered Joni Mitchell playing in a Florida club. He went on to produce her debut album, Song To A Seagull.

A year after leaving The Byrds, Crosby formed Crosby, Stills & Nash with Nash and Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills. The supergroup won Best New Artist at the 1969 Grammys following the release of their self-titled debut album and played their second ever gig at Woodstock. their self-titled debut in 1969. Joined by Neil Young, they released Déjà Vu the following year.

Together, Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young) released eight studio albums; their last was 1999’s Looking Forward.

Outside of CSN/Y, Crosby often collaborate with Nash, releasing four studio albums together.

Aside from their own records, Crosby and Nash quickly became the go-to harmony vocalists for other acts of the ‘70s, including their bandmates Stills and Young. Elsewhere, they appeared on Mitchell’s “Free Man In Paris”, James Taylor’s “Mexico” and Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender”.

Crosby‘s solo career began with 1971’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. He released a few more solo albums through the ’80s and ’90s, before a 20-year break. He enjoyed a successful late creative surge, however, releasing five albums since 2014. His latest solo release was 2021’s For Free, named after a Mitchell song he recorded for the album.

In 2019, he became the focus of his own documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name. The film was produced by Cameron Crowe and was nominated for Best Music Film at the 2020 Grammys.

Crosby was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice – first, with The Byrds in 1991 and again with Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1997.

David Crosby
David Crosby. Image: Gijsbert Hanekroot / Redferns

Aside from Nash and Stills, tributes have been paid across the board to Crosby. Brian Wilson wrote: “I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter.

“And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends.”

I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian pic.twitter.com/Hjht7LeGiv

— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) January 19, 2023

Elsewhere, David Gilmour shared a photo of the pair together. “We sang together, we played together and had great times together,” he wrote. “I’ll miss The Croz more than words can say. Sail on.”

We sang together, we played together and had great times together.
I’ll miss The Croz more than words can say.
Sail on. pic.twitter.com/Lc6pui2rCX

— David Gilmour (@davidgilmour) January 20, 2023

“Grateful for the time we had with David Crosby. We’ll miss him a lot,” Jason Isbell tweeted.

Grateful for the time we had with David Crosby. We’ll miss him a lot.

— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) January 19, 2023

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